Holiday Belief – Serbian

“On our Christmas, we make bread, and the mom puts one coin in the bread and she bakes it. And she doesn’t know where the coin is. On the lunch when she puts it on the table, everyone is getting a piece of bread. And the person who finds the coin will have luck for the whole year—luck will be on his side.”

“It’s tradition every religious family does in Serbia. Christians.

“I think that it is true because  every time that someone from my family found the coin it has come true. He did something big in the year, It was really really… seriously like it’s happened every single time. He will succeed on his goal or whatever.”

The informant is originally from Serbia and currently attending school in Los Angeles. She has been in the United States for less than one year.

The Winter Holiday season can be seen as a liminal time period as we move from one year to the next. The ritualization of baking the bread every year as well as the focus on divining the next year’s luck are results of this characteristic. The coin refers to fortune in money, as well as success in other aspects of life. Over all, the act of finding the coin is a success in itself. In this way, it is also a loose version of homeopathic folk magic; like causes like. The success of finding the coin will cause success throughout the year. The fact that the magic lasts for the whole year is a result of the cyclical time as the ritual will be repeated once the holiday occurs again.